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Thread: Where and when appeared Celtic?

  1. #26
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    I continue mt narrative or my hight voice thinking:
    I recall that some scholars affirm that a Celtic or at least an IE toponymy has been preceding Iberian toponyny in eastern Iberia. (old question of Y-R1b-P312 in S-E Iberia)
    Concerning homogeneity and antiquity of Celtic proper, they are some questions:
    - theorically, Celtic and Italic are considered as a bit older than Germanic proper.
    - it's a pity I have no clue about basic vocabulary of Osco-Umbrian.
    - but compared to other groups, very basic vocabulary of Italic (family and body BI, lexicon which is the less exchangeable) or at least Latin shows more affinity to Germanic, Slavic and even Greek than do the diverse Celtic varieties. It's true that I base myself on modern languages, but as a whole this part of lexicon varies very little by time.
    - The Gaelic and Brittonic dialects are themselves very different for some of these basic concepts - what could be explained by either an old separation or a new enough one but with a very strong separation between these two dialects which are considered, nevertheless, as very close by some linguists : Insularity? It seems to me a strong phonetic cut (before all phonetic of consonants and plosives and so on) is often as "genetical" as lexicon yet. Added to the basic vocabulary divergences between Gaelic and Brittonic it cannot be born in few days. Based on phonetics, I see a tighter link between Gaulish and Brittonic, despite the mainstream British scholars thoughts. I suppose personally these insular links are more recent convergences based on an exchanges network than ancient « genetical » links.
    Surely one can consider these divergences are only the result of a strong non-Celtic (but already IE, maybe (pre-) proto-Celto-Italic) substratum of BB 's origin ? Even the syntax is a bit different between Gaelic and Brittonic. Even if not sure, I’m tempted to consider Gaelic is older than Brittonic in the Isles and is a first wave of Celtic speaking groups maybe akin in some way to other continental dialects overrun later by P-Celtic groups.



    One can propose:
    - An insular Celtic arrived in the Great Isles and developped into Gaelic and Brittonic maybe under influence of a substratum ?
    If Celtic arrived lately there, say around Urnfields or IA it implies a fast evolution of dialect? Too fast? Strong input of a substratum can maybe produce this?
    - Gaelic arrived in the Great isles aside or at least at the same period as Brittonic but already differentiated ?
    This implies a forking on the continent; there again, if Celtic is lately born, it implies also a rapid evolution. It doesn’t exclude the effect of a substratum on one or susbtrata on both: more pre-Celts in Atlantic regions?
    - Gaelic arrived in the Great Isles (just?) before Brittonic ?
    It doesn’t exclude a rapid evolution on the Continent, according to the dates one chooses for the apparition of Celtic.
    - Celtic in far West was only a partially creolized lingua franca?


    The question is still there: at what speed can so an evolution find place? Even the basic vocabulary is different enough between Gaelic and Brittonic. The Gaelic syntax, even more some basic Verbs conjugations, not only for incomplete tenses declinations but also for verbal roots (Irish: too roots for to say, to give birth to, to make, to get, to see, to give, to come, three roots for to go, four roots for to be, without to speak of tenses prefixations); it evoks even non-IE inputs I ‘m not sure to find in Vasconic… Could this be a late evolution on the Isles or Ireland, or already on the continent? The phonetic strong voicing and lenition can be compared to the Oil French one, strongest than the Brittonic one, or than in the romance languages of Iberia (and Corsica, in North for the most) or Occitania/North Italy. An original Celtic phenomenon? Nothing less sure. Rather a common trait of occidental substrata that seemingly had already begun to work on Gaulish. Whatever the origin, this trend seems to have worked on western dialects, and are rather absent of Latin and central and south central Italian dialects or in Slavic. In Germanic dialects, it’s hard to desintangle and seems as a whole very weaker than in Celtic dialects. It’s strange to southeastern German dialects. It seems to me it has needed some bit of time to produce so strong effect in some dialects.
    to be continued (and challenged)

  2. #27
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    A bit aside but not strange to this topic:
    I crossread a paper about Atlantic Bronze by Brendan O'Connor; according to it, the so called Atlantic Bronze was not a totally homogenous space. It seems the most of activity has been rather in the N-W Gaul/ S Britain area, with trade/cultural links with Rhine mouth countries, for a time. At the same time, the more northern regions of Britain, E and N-E, would have strong exchanges with N-Rhine and N-W Germany regions. South the Loire/Liger river, the activity seemed a bit less dense, and even lesser dense with N-W Iberia (Iberia was surely mor active in S-E with eastern Mediterranea links). It seems even in Gaul, there has been diverse zones of cultural/industrial styles and kind of a weak "frontier" between what we could name "Great Aquitania" and the Brittany/Normandy/S-Britain complex. Could this have had some input on a future Vasconic/Celtic (or early Celtized) divide???
    We may imagine it, at least: some modern surveys have showed remnants of DNA links between Vendée/Poitou people of today with Basques and Gascons, as opposed to more northern or central/eastern French people; I recall the tendancy in southern Poitou dialects of Oil to a laryngalization of 'j' symbolized by [zh] (fricative glottal voiced) and a partial laryngalization of 'ch' (#[sh], no correspondance in English), on the way to the Spanish 'jota' [kh], something which evoks the Castillan and peri-Vasconic regions. Could has been this region North of the Liger the place were proto-Celtic speaking pops have found a substratum strong enough to vaguely "creolize" and modify Celtic even before it passed to the Isles? And south of the Loire, the substratum would have been even stronger and ask for longer time to be Celtized? Only fancy perhaps... The strength of lenition among Celts, maybe acquired in Central-East Gaul, has completely erased ancient stops and consonnants in some contexts. In western Armoric, were the substratum was maybe less strong, it has nevertheless left some specific evolution of certain sounds: the Vannetais dialect, result of a (re)Celtization by Brittonic language on a subregion were the "Gaulish" component was stronger than in other subregions of Brittany, the old *-pt, *-tt, *-kt >> -(i)th (like in Welsh) >> -(i)zh (modern Breton) has given -h (-[kh] in absolute finale); it evoks the Gaelic '-th' [h] or [.] in some way. The Gaelic is "softer", maybe by older acquisition because it has not been "teached" again by Celtic speakers of another dialect?

  3. #28
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    It isn't completely off topic because some differences in substrata could imply different dates and routes for Celtization...

    Substrata question: roughly resumed and not comprehensive:

    some peculiarities of neo-Celtic languages have pushed some linguists to hypothesize substrata inputs (no surprise!).
    - the counting twenty basis in place of teen basis, practiced or having be practiced by Celtic, French, English, some Germanic dialects, Basque, and some North-African languages or dialects, fact often attributed to Basque -
    - the diverse forms of the verb to be, attributed by someones to a basque system -
    - the mutations of initial consonants or stops as in some Atlantic N-WAfrican dialects (Fulbe...) -
    - the formation of genitive by simple nouns affixing, as in some Afro-Asiatic languages -
    - prepositional progressive verbal forms -
    - the persons declination of some prepositions as in some Afro-Asiatic languages -
    - the words we don’t find any correspondence for them in other IE languages (lexicon) -
    The so called “Afro-Asiatic” connection could reflect in fact an ancient large interactive space connected to some of the first farmers languages. And it would be very possible that more than a family language were spoken among first farmers from Anatolia and Levant, according to places of origin. Maybe a great differences existed between the Cardial and the Danubian farmers?
    Concerning the “foreign” words in Celtic, they have seemingly more than an origin (Basque, and other unkown languages as well from West or Central Europe: uneasy to precise. But among Insular Celtic dialects Brittonic and Gaelic would have loanwords of different strata, what seems to plead for a separation before to colonize the Great Isles, and not for a common introduction into them, so more convergence than case of twinning.

  4. #29
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    not off topic, because differences in substrata loans could point to differences in time and routes

    Substrata question:
    roughly resumed

    some peculiarities of neo-Celtic languages have pushed some linguists to hypothesize substrata inputs (no surprise!).
    - the counting twenty basis in place of teen basis, practiced or having be practiced by Celtic, French, English, some Germanic dialects, Basque, and some North-African languages or dialects, fact often attributed to Basque -
    - the diverse forms of the verb to be, attributed by someones to a basque system -
    - the mutations of initial consonants or stops as in some Atlantic N-WAfrican dialects (Fulbe...) -
    - the formation of genitive by simple nouns affixing, as in some Afro-Asiatic languages -
    - prepositional progressive verbal forms -
    - the persons declination of some prepositions as in some Afro-Asiatic languages -
    - the words we don’t find any correspondence for them in other IE languages (lexicon) -
    The so called “Afro-Asiatic” connection could reflect in fact an ancient large interactive space connected to some of the first farmers languages. And it would be very possible that more than a family language were spoken among first farmers from Anatolia and Levant, according to places of origin. Maybe a great differences existed between the Cardial and the Danubian farmers?
    Concerning the “foreign” words in Celtic, they have seemingly more than an origin (Basque, and other unkown languages as well from West or Central Europe: uneasy to precise. But among Insular Celtic dialects Brittonic and Gaelic would have loanwords of different strata, what seems to plead for a separation before to colonize the Great Isles, and not for a common introduction into them, so more convergence than a case of twinning.

  5. #30
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    The difficulty for verbs conjugation and the original solutions of Gaelic, “creole-like” in some way, and its phonetic evolution push me to think it could be born of an ancient enough evolution on a lingua franca of already Celtic origin, In a network spanning central and northwestern Atlantic shores at Atlantic BA (1300/700 BC, after a previous time of genesis begun perhaps earlier). A Y-R1b-L21 dominated pop of BB origin been Celtized one time on the continent, before to be over-Celtized later at IA on the continent? I don’t think the heavy enough presence of Y-R-L21 in northern Spain even in Basque country, is completely independent of the BA. The well formed following Atlantic BA could have involved them more than Y-R-DF29, and the continental Y-R-L21, already of a more or less evolved IE dialect, could have shifted to an imperfectly assimilated Celtic dialect by contact(s) with “cousins” of eastern Gaul/Baviera. That said Y-R-DF27 shows also, outside Iberia, an Atlantic gradian along shores until Britain and northern Europe, spread opposite to Y-R-L21 and explained by the mutual exchanges at those times? Ireland didn’t receive too much people from the continent after BA. But that says nothing more concerning language.
    So why not a BA genesis on the continent for a first wave towards West with substratum imput even before reaching Ireland – the western coastal regions of Gauls seemed lately concerned by the west-central Europe developments and novelties, after the first input of BB, more cultural than demic in western Gaul. More “autochtonous” Neolithic groups? Or Ireland has had its own substratum input on a lingua franca shared with Atlantic coasts without arrival of already ‘Gaelic’ speakers formed outside? the concept of 'lingua franca' for this supposed first Celtic input is maybe too "convenient" without any support?

    In Ireland IA sent groups too, but not by force Gaelic speaking. There has been also P-Celtic groups even if scarce, and possibly even Belgae sets of clans. My preceding post about substrata could support an independent and maybe preceding colonization of not only Ireland but also Britain by Gaelic speakers, roughly Celtized.

    AuDNA would show a continental input in southern Britain in its LBA/EIA period, but the demic one seems rather light then and the Y-R1b-U152 elements are scarce enough. The Qw- to P- shift could have needed some time before reaching Scotland, and at the demic level, Ireland had almost zero input for this period, at least at autosomals level. So, no important arrival of new tribes at IA into Ireland having sent DNA and language, on what we have todate. Because physical anthropology showed some ties between the IA elites of Ireland, Britain and N-E great Gaul, whose traces persisted in today populations of the Isles.

    At the western continent level, Urnfields period could have redistributed pop’s here and there, pop’s which were there before, but not well mixed yet: a levelling in mixes, seemingly. Anthropology shows clearly moves of tribes, nevertheless. In Gaul around Paris and Elsass there has been some discontinuity in DNA at IA, according to the scarce surveys, and at anthropologic level Brittany (western Aremorica then) ‘alpinelike’ people appeared at late IA, from eastern Gaul, the most often females. It seems Celtic tribes or sets (sure naming then) by their historical numerous moves allover Gaul, have levelled progressively the DNA inherited from WHG (a lot “alpinized” in East), Cardial Neo, ‘Danubian’-neo and BB’s heirs, What did not erase completely the differences between Northern and Southern Gaul, but here we have non-Celtic ethnies at play too.

    My purpose here is to say that a late Celtic Hallstatt then La Tène introgression could have celtized progressively Gaul, but that it cannot explain the Gaelicization of Ireland. There is no miraculous transmission of complete language without a demic input of some weight or some political superior organization. The first BB then Celtic (Gaelic?) inputS could have passed languages with, by time, some incorporation of substrata traits, trade only does not need an allover population shift of language, even more when we speak of non-centralized ethnies as BB’s and Celts. A second wave of IA Celts, spite not numerous, can pass its new dialectal traits on an already celtized pop, progressively here again.

  6. #31
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    I wrote, poor wording:
    The first BB then Celtic (Gaelic?) inputS could have passed languages with, by time, some incorporation of substrata traits, trade only does not need an allover population shift of language, even more when we speak of non-centralized ethnies as BB’s and Celts.

    better written:
    The first BB and afterwards Celtic (Gaelic?) inputS could have passed languages with, by time, some incorporation of successive substrata traits, trade only does not need an allover population shift of language, even more when we speak of non-centralized ethnies as BB’s and Celts.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

    So what about all these roughly evoked hypothesis ?
    The lingua franca thesis is well accepted by some scholars. A pidgin – which would be the better solution concerning populations foreign one to another put in contact without strong demic introgression- is to be discarded I think because a true pidgin is an unstable vernacular concerning only limited aspect of life (trade exchanges) without a sound grammatical structure. And the lexicon of some basic life needs are absent of pidgins (family, plants, sentiments...). The Gaelic and Brittonic languages have well developped vocabulary and grammar. Creolization could be the good term? Creolization does not exclude re-creation of lacking words or new grammatical structures. Against this thesis: creoles adopted words shows often wrong cuts between the sentence elements: it occurs, more rarely, for loanwords in traditional languages. (Breton termajik for ‘tinkers’ or ‘gipsies’ from French lanterne magique (magic lantern), North-Africa Arabic lapolis from French la police (the police); not creole languages here but some words recently adopted on the creole pattern. But the Insular Celtic lexicons do not show this kind of evolution. Their morphology is just IE and the most of their basic words from PIE don’t show creole types of deformations. They just have, as other PIE derived languages, local phonetic evolutions plus some vocabulary not found in reconstructed PIE or in early IE languages. Their syntax is the most intriguing, the Gaelic one even more. This can be put on the account of a strong substratum or several ones, but acting on a full received language package spoken by elites at least. Overrunning new elites plus local elites adopting the winner’s language (Gaul case). ATW in absence of a well structured and centralized winner state, it needs some demic input and kind of an adhesion. Before the whole pop’ speaks the new language it needs time. I don’t think so a shift can be made only in the frame of only commercial ties, even strong ones.
    Gaulish seemedrather homogenous and the little we know about its syntax would seem basically IE. We had in West cousins languages already well divergent but with the PIE *P- fall. This divergence would plead for a long enough separation before for the Celtic break from western IE (to add to the separation between Celtic dialects themselves). The allover distribution of ancient western IE dialects covers the most part of BB culture spread. It does not prove BB’s spoke Celtic (Gaelic as proposed by someones), but as Celtic devlopped over a western IE basis, it could prove BB’s spoke already a kind of IE. The toponymy of Iberia shows Celtic names in West, and if they would have been anterior to Urnfields it could have proved something, but I have no clue about their antiquity. For the Isles, we can consider Gaelic and Brittonic have not been introduced there as a firstly common dialect before forking (differences in substrata remnants. Differences in substrata remnants, if on the same substratum or substrata, implies similar routes but different times and after that a lack of mixing between waves. Complete differences in substrata implies different routes whatever the time: it could also be different routes before reaching the Isles or different pop’s at the end of their travels. Spite without absolute proof all this plead again for an anteriority of Gaelic (and surely Qw- Celtic) on Brittonic and also Gaulish, and for some depth for the Celtic evolution.

  7. #32
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    from the genetic aspect, and more generally, one can state:
    - The 'steppic' element appeared roughly with northern and central patriarcal BB's so N-W and C-W Europe, and tightly associated with Y-R1b-P312, hadn't ceased to decrease by time on the same territories, which in a big part is the result of gradual dilution rather than the arrival of numerous other people, between Chalcolithic (LBA) and IA. The decrease has been seemingly faster and gone farther in Central-West Europe than in its North-West, but among identified Celtic IA pop’s in France (Gaul) we see still a total Y-R1b-P312 dominance which implies no new military dominant and new pop take over precedent pop’s of Chalc. BB’s & BA.
    As the diverse barbaric cultures which have followed the BB's times were not more centralized and had kept some mobile habits (a lot of Celtic, Belgian or Germanic tribe or sets of tribes have kept changing territories at IA) we can have doubts about a well "allover-state-controlled" gestion of the populations which could lead quickly to an unification of languages on a so vaste space.
    The best way to pass a language is still a demographic introgression and increase witch doesn’t prevent to incorporate precedent ethnical element gradually, what apparently has been done for the most by exogamy (and perhaps some “neutralization” or provisory marginalization of vanquished males. But it needs some demic number at first to win and control. A sudden military control by a relatively small bunch of winners on a very larger pop cannot help to impose a language. Even more if it’s a conquest by males only.
    Celtic doesn’t seem a brandy new language arrived at IA daybreak IMO. Linguistically it seems rather a dialect of the already well diffenciated Western IE group; Celtic itself differenciated at a level which requires a bit of time. That doesn’t disprove a first origin around eastern France-Baviera before several waves of spreading. The Urnfields IMO were of foreign (post-Tellic, from Hungary, and then E-Austria?) origin and are not born nor been accepted immediately among southern Tumuli people (where I see the proto-Celts among others): some of the Tumuli people of E-Baviera / SW Czechia migrated to Poland before that Urnfields followed them there, through Moravia and before Lusacian culture found birth. I don’t know if it’s accurate but some Czech and French scholars thought these Tumuli people were of Celtic archeological culture. It’s true we can suppose some tribes of the ancient Celtic-Italic(-Venetic) indivision could have some close common archeological traits by contacts, and that these “Celts” of Poland were maybe some kind of Veneti or para-Italics?
    We may suppose Urnfields was a cultural and religious wave, but details may lighten things; its has not had everywhere the same aspect; at the beginning in Baviera/East France, wives were cremated, new potteries arrived (wives !?!) and males were Inhumed, and had new swords; could it be the result of commercial exchanges + some alliances and marriages under influence of an Hungarian group at first, group which left in West very few original new Y-Haplo’s?
    It’s true that in other places around Hungary and even in some sites of N-E and Balkans a radical and total adoption of UF’s or a total reject, the first case implying demic input IMO. IN W + N-W Europe UF’s seem very late and I doubt they could be linked to apparition of Celtic if Celtic speaking themselves. The complete UF cultural “kit” didn’t appear at first but seems a consolidation of a mode in a network of relationship established a bit earlier. In places where some first inputs were already there the new complete panoply of UF didn’t need strong demic input. One may argue that so a network showing long enough term echanges could lead to adoption of a koine language? But the area of UF expansion knowed several languages among which Celtic, Italic, Venetic, some kind of Illyrian or Liburnian, Thracian, perhaps Dacian, why not proto-Germanic and proto-Slavic or at least Baltic-Slavic? So UF has not been the promotor of all these languages, and its links with Celtic and Italic are unknown to us.
    We have still the Hallstatt and LaTène hypothesises at hand.

  8. #33
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    Hey, people,
    you may contradict me and put some life in this poor thread. It could help me to precise some confused thoughts.
    Aside all that, it 's running in Brittany a few showers every day and I find it very cool.

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    Thanks for kind answers (LOL)!
    To come back to the Urnfields in Spain, their strongest input is supposed to have been in East, not in West. In Gaul it never took any importance in West, Northwest, Centre. How to explain the Western Iberia IE tongues (Lusitanian,and some close dialects in Galicia, Celtic or not, someones close as well to Celtic as to Italic) ? The known tribes who settled wester Iberia around IE were well defined late Celtic or Germanic tribes.
    The only new Y-haplo input among IA Celtic tribes seems a few Y-G2a of uncertain recent origin but in little proportions, the main Haplo's being Y-R1b-P312 downstream subclades...

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    The surnames Gul and Kul are strongly present in Asia. Could they be linked to ancient Celts/Galli? Turkey's president before Erdogan was Abdullah Gul. Also plenty of Afghans and Pakis with that surname. Then you have it among Tatars as well. The famous Crazy Russian Hacker Youtube guy is actually Tatar and his name is Taras Kul. Then you have former Young Turks affiliate Kyle Kulinski, who in spite of his Polish origins looks Turkic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmiller234 View Post
    The surnames Gul and Kul are strongly present in Asia. Could they be linked to ancient Celts/Galli? Turkey's president before Erdogan was Abdullah Gul. Also plenty of Afghans and Pakis with that surname. Then you have it among Tatars as well. The famous Crazy Russian Hacker Youtube guy is actually Tatar and his name is Taras Kul. Then you have former Young Turks affiliate Kyle Kulinski, who in spite of his Polish origins looks Turkic.
    Vague phonetic or/and graphic correspondances between words or names of diverse languages can be very mistaking, even more in short (monosyllabic) names. Concerning Kyle Kulinski, I have some difficulty to undersand what he is going to do in this thread and what is his links with Turkey! Because of Kyle, Scottish name of gaelic origin, or Kuliniski? Because Kul could be Gul? (devoicing in some of the Turkic languages)

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